Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Brainstorm Ideas for Your Essay

Now, you have to brainstorm ideas related to the essay topic you have chosen previously. When you are brainstorming ideas, there is only one rule to adhere: no idea is ruled out during the period of the brainstorming. As with brainstorming, do not reject anything at this stage. Grammar or spelling is not important during brainstorming. Do not waste your time correcting grammar or spelling errors.

There are three methods to brainstorm ideas:

  • Create a List
  • Draw a Mind Map
  • Ask and Answer Wh-questions


Create a List
This method is simple and effective. All you need to do is to create a list of words and short sentences related to the essay topic chosen.

Essay Topic: The Advantages and Disadvantages of the Internet
Email is cheaper
Pornographic
Explicit content
Skype – free online call
Internet messenger like ICQ, MSN messenger, Yahoo Messenger
Virus
Hacker
Internet Hacking
Online Banking
Blog
... (The list goes on and on until you really run out of ideas)

Draw a Mind Map
You can choose from a variety of mind maps to draw. Then, you should write the points on the mind map. Do not waste your time drawing a complex mind map! A simple mind map will look like this.



Using mind map, all your points are grouped together neatly for easy reference. Mind map is highly recommended for reflective essays and factual essays.

Ask and Answer Wh-questions
Ask yourself as much as possible Wh-questions related to the essay topic chosen. This writing method is suitable for descriptive essays, narrative essays and reports.

Essay Topic: A Hit-and-run Accident
When it happens?
How it happens?
Why it occurs?
What is the brand of the hit-and-run car?
Where it happens?
Who is the victim?

Answers to these questions are the points for your essay.

After you have finished brainstorming ideas, you can proceed to the next step: Organize and Outline Your Essay.

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